Lab Members

Dr. Amy-May Leach, Lab Director

amy.leach@ontariotechu.ca

Dr. Amy-May Leach is a Professor of Forensic Psychology in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities at Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology). She received her M.A. in Developmental Psychology and her Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). Dr. Leach’s primary area of research is the detection of detection in forensic contexts. She studies the social and cognitive underpinnings of deception and its detection, particularly as they
relate to vulnerable populations (e.g., children, non-native speakers). Dr. Leach also collaborates on projects in the areas of Confessions and Interrogations, Wrongful Convictions, and Eyewitness Identifications. She has received grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the American Psychology-Law Society. In addition to her research background, Dr. Leach has the unique experience of having worked as a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer. Thus, she has direct experience with the factors that affect forensic interviewing and decision-making.

Dr. Leach’s ResearchGate profile

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Elizabeth Elliott, Graduate Student – PhD 5

elizabeth.elliott@ontariotechu.net

Elizabeth is in her final year of the Forensic Psychology PhD program under Dr. Leach’s supervision. She received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Psychology from Carleton University and her Master of Arts in Criminology from Ontario Tech University. During her Masters, she examined the impact of interviewees’ language proficiency (across four levels) on interviewers’ deception detection. As part of her current dissertation work, she is examining elements of lie detection decisions and the components that make up deceptive accounts. Specifically, she is comparing the typically dichotomous task to a novel dynamic (i.e., moment-to-moment) approach to assessing deception.

Click here to download Elizabeth’s CV

Elizabeth’s ResearchGate profile

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Lyndsay Woolridge, Graduate Student – PhD 5

lyndsay.woolridge@ontariotechu.net

Lyndsay is in her final year of the Direct Entry PhD program in Forensic Psychology, working under the supervision of Dr. Amy Leach. She completed her master’s degree in Linguistics at York University and received her BA (Hons) in Linguistics and Psychology from Queen’s University. Her primary research area focuses on deception detection in non-native English speakers and the implications of observer biases when making veracity judgments in legal settings. As a secondary focus, Lyndsay has also conducted several studies related to deception and attributions of arousal. Currently, she is investigating the impact of interpreter use on deception detection during courtroom examinations.

Click here to download Lyndsay’s CV

Lyndsay’s ResearchGate profile

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Katrina-Ray Villeneuve, Graduate Student – MSc 2

Katrina-Ray.Villeneuve@ontariotechu.ca

Katrina is a second-year Forensic Psychology MSc student working under the supervision of Dr. Amy Leach in The Lie Lab. For her Master’s thesis, she is examining whether the length of thin slices affects deception detection. Katrina’s other research interests also include the effect of language proficiency on rapport and information disclosure, and the protective role of interpreters.

Current Study:

Katrina’s MSc research titled “Short on Time: The Effect of Exposure Length on Deception Detection Accuracy” is examining cognitive processes underlying decision-making (i.e., how exposure time affects deception detection).

Overview:

Katrina is examining whether the length of thin slices affects deception detection. In phase one, interviewees (N = 32) were videotaped as they lied or told the truth about a mission they had completed. In phase two, 320 participants will be randomly assigned to one of eight exposure conditions (i.e., 100 milliseconds, 5 seconds, 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, or full-length) and attempt to detect the deception of 12 of these interviewees.

Click here to download Katrina’s CV

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Ryan Lahay, Graduate Student – MSc 2

ryan.lahay@ontariotechu.net

Ryan is a second-year MSc student in Forensic Psychology working under the supervision of Dr. Leach. He completed his Honours Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Criminology and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at Lakehead University. His research interests include evidence-based policing, deception detection, and investigative interviewing. He is examining the reliability and validity of common measures of arousal and cognitive-based cues to deception.

Ryan’s ResearchGate profile

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Chelsea Blake, Graduate Student – MSc 1

chelsea.blake@ontariotechu.net

Chelsea Blake completed her BA (Hons) in Forensic Psychology with a minor in Criminology and Justice at Ontario Tech University. For her undergraduate honour’s thesis under the supervision of Dr. Amy-May Leach, she researched perceptions of accent and fluency in native and non-native English speakers and how that affected deception detection decision-making. She is now pursuing her MSc in Forensic Psychology under the supervision of Dr. Amy-May Leach. Her research interests for her master’s thesis include analyzing the relationship between cognitive load and the components of executive functioning to determine how they affect deception detection decision-making.

Click here to download Chelsea’s CV

Chelsea’s ResearchGate profile

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Serra Baskurt, Project Assistant

serra.baskurt@ontariotechu.net

Serra is a 4th year student at Ontario Tech University in the B.A. Honours program specializing in Forensic Psychology. She joined The Lie Lab as a Project Assistant in Fall 2021. Currently, she is completing her Honours thesis under the supervision of Dr. Leigh Harkins, where she examines the factors that influence people’s attitudes towards rape. Serra’s research interests broadly include cognitive distortions linked to antisocial behaviour, mentally disordered offenders, attitudes, and violence. After the completion of her undergraduate degree, Serra plans to pursue graduate studies in Forensic Psychology.

Click here to download Serra’s CV